Position Description

Position Description

California Science Center Foundation

(Los Angeles, CA)

Title: Chief Financial Officer


Mission Statement: We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people's lives.

A national and international leader in science education and informal learning, the California Science Center incorporates a dynamic museum with free general admission, robust educational programming including a professional development center for educators, and a neighborhood K-5 elementary school, to improve public understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). With an average of 2.2 million guests each year, including an average of 470,000 visiting school or youth groups, the California Science Center now ranks as the eighth most-visited museum in North America and the most-visited museum in the United States outside of New York and Washington, D.C.

The California Science Center is advancing one of the most transformative educational projects in the region, which will build an iconic destination for Los Angeles and inspire a new generation of scientists, innovators, and explorers. Plans are underway to build the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the permanent home for the Space Shuttle Endeavour, long-envisioned in Phase III of the Science Center’s 25-year Master Plan. This 188,000 square-foot expansion will integrate the California Science Center’s signature hands-on, educational exhibits with a diverse collection of aircraft and spacecraft – including Endeavour displayed vertically with real solid rocket boosters and external tank, as if ready for liftoff.

The California Science Center is located in Exposition Park, the crossroads of the Los Angeles community, just south of downtown and across the street from the University of Southern California. The surrounding community offers a diverse cultural experience, classic architecture, park-like grounds, world-class museums, cafés, entertainment and more.

The California Science Center Foundation is a nonprofit corporation created to support education and exhibit programs in association with the California Science Center, an institution within the Natural Resources Agency of the State of California. Prior to COVID-19, the Foundation managed 245 part-time, front-line staff; 125 full-time exempt and non-exempt staff; and 300 volunteers with an operating budget of $25.9 million on revenue of $36.8 million.

For more information, please visit www.californiasciencecenter.org.


The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) reports directly to the President of the Foundation and serves as a key member of the Executive Staff. Reporting to the CFO are the Controller, Human Resources Director and the IT Director. The Foundation is anticipating a budget of $24.3 million for fiscal year 2020-21. This position is responsible for oversight and management of all financial and administrative functions including accounting, budget management, treasury, grant financial administration, project accounting, internal controls, taxes, risk management, contract review, legal affairs, financing, charitable trust management, annual financial statements, retirement plan audits, and other assignments as necessary. The CFO also provides financial expertise and guidance to the President, Board of Trustees, Audit Committee, Finance Committee and Investment Committee. It is essential that this individual develops a broad knowledge of the operating units and develops working relationships with all supervisory, managerial, and executive personnel.


Specific Responsibilities Include but are not limited to:

  • Supervise the Controller who is responsible for the day-to-day accounting operations, budgeting, audit and tax interface, insurance applications, and financial statement preparation.
  • Supervise the IT Director who is responsible for the network and systems, IT-related purchasing and controls in order to provide staff with effective and efficient business operations. Other key areas of oversight include ensuring sufficient IT infrastructure and security, PCI compliance, and operating system selection and implementation.
  • Supervise the Director of Human Resources who is responsible for the management of the human resources function including employee relations, recruitment, training and development, job classification, compensation and benefits administration, retirement plans, performance appraisal systems, workplace culture, and policy development. 
  • Manage cash in order to meet daily operating needs; invest and monitor the Center’s available liquid assets per the Foundation’s investment policy; and plan, develop forecasts, evaluate and report on the Foundation’s cash flow position.
  • Develop, prepare and monitor appropriate administrative budgets; review and monitor the budget reporting process; assist and consult with staff in monitoring budgeted expenditures; develop and monitor the capital purchases budget.
  • Oversee retirement plan restatements, annual retirement plan audits and preparation of Form 5500, and investments.
  • Oversee campaign pledges and payments.
  • Oversee major new project financing and administer new tax-exempt bonds and the administration of existing tax-exempt bonds.
  • Develop and implement internal control policies and procedures as appropriate.
  • Develop mutually established performance standards with supervised staff; review staff performance on an annual basis.
  • Develop and maintain a close partnership with the State Administration counterpart.
  • Administer the Science Center Foundation’s blanket general and liability insurance, dive and boat operations, property and exhibit insurance, D&O, workers compensation, crime and fiduciary insurance and volunteer coverage including risk management, claims processing and liaison with broker and insurance companies.
  • Provide staff support to Management and Board Committees including the Audit and Governance Committee, the Finance Committee and the Investment Committee providing preparation of reports, reference materials and correspondence.
  • Maintain banking and investment relationships and contacts.
  • Consult with Senior Management staff in order to coordinate the activities of Accounting, IT, and Human Resources objectives and priorities.


The successful candidate will be a proven leader with a track record of success in a complex dynamic environment. The CFO should be a strategic thinker with strong conceptual and analytical abilities, a pragmatic orientation, and the ability to analyze problems, measure performance, evaluate results, and identify alternative solutions. In addition, the candidate identified for this position should have solid technical, organizational and administrative skills, with keen attention to detail. The individual should be a problem-solver with the ability to be responsive to short-term concerns while developing long-range strategies. The CFO should also be goal oriented, well-disciplined and a hands-on administrator who can create systems and procedures and be able to implement them effectively. This position requires the ability to analyze contracts, insurance and legal matters to arrive at mission appropriate solutions. The individual must be able to adapt to a continually evolving environment and thrive in an autonomous and project-oriented workplace, while managing a team.

The CFO should have outstanding interpersonal skills and be an effective and persuasive communicator, both verbally and in writing. It is critical that the CFO operate with a collaborative work model. The individual should, therefore, be diplomatic yet decisive, exhibiting solid listening skills and taking into account input from various constituencies before making decisions. The ability to earn the trust and confidence of colleagues at all levels inside and outside the organization is essential. The CFO will be responsible for leading and directing a staff, fostering teamwork and effectively collaborating with other stakeholders. The successful candidate will be a leader who seeks input but who is not afraid to make decisions. The person in this position should have high ethical standards and should be a model of integrity and fairness, operating in a transparent fashion. 


The CFO will be a seasoned and mature leader with at least 10-15 years of broad finance experience, gathering and evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership. The preferred candidate will have at least five years of experience in senior leadership positions managing finance (accounting, budgeting, control, and reporting) for a complex organization with multiple funding sources including state contracts and diverse program areas. Proficiency in Blackbaud Financial Edge and Tessitura Network software programs are desirable.


A bachelor’s degree preferably in business, finance or accounting is preferred. An MBA and/or CPA is desirable.


Annual compensation will be competitive, and a comprehensive benefits package will be provided


To apply for this position, visit www.morrisberger.com/searches.php

Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203-1923

1 (818) 507-1234